The Goatee: variations on the style
Craig the Barber details five contemporary Goatee facial hair styles as worn by Colin Farrell, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, Kanye West, Mickey Rourke and Robert Downey Jr.
The Goatee can create a look of mystery or distinction. It can also do a great job of hiding the double chin (well, maybe just from the front)! Regardless, it’s a beard style that carries a commanding tone because it brings attention to the mouth, especially when speaking. And for men that like to be heard and noticed, this is a great beard style choice.There are many variations of the goatee, but there are truly only three standard styles. Two of which - the Musketeer and the Van Dyke - are very popular among men and movies of many eras. The third, the French Fork, is a style more likely to be found in period films and paintings however, and not often worn today.
The Musketeer was originally worn by Napoleon III and also seen in many images of Pan, the ancient Greek half-man, half-goat deity.
The Van Dyke was originally worn by Flemish painter Sir Anthony Van Dyke who added some much needed style to the goatee at the time.When worn, the goatee gives the illusion of length to a round face or definition to an otherwise missing or weak chin.
For more on what style might suit your face check our guide here.
The simplest way to start a goatee is to grow your beard out for at least a week – sometimes even less time is required for heavy beard growers. This way you can see which areas of the beard connect and where you have sparse areas. Here are five variations of the always-popular goatee worn by some of our favorite actors and entertainers.
Colin wears a cross between the Musketeer and the Van Dyke.
How to Style: Shave the cheeks and neck, leaving the chin unshaven and the upper-lip hair to extend no more than half an inch past the sides of the mouth. Using mustache scissors, trim the mustache hair, including the tips, to a length of approximately a quarter of an inch. Use a razor to shape the area beneath the nose, leaving only a quarter to half an inch strip of hair just above the upper lip. Next, shape a rectangular patch of hair half an inch wide and a quarter inch thick. Finally, shave the remaining chin hair to the very bottom of the chin outline – the chin bone. The length of the chin hair is completely up to your own discretion.
What the look says: Since this style does not follow a specific outline, it lets me think that Mr. Farrell does not want to be taken too seriously. In any case, it creates a very ‘approachable’ appearance.
Kanye wears a mustache and goatee, otherwise known as a full Van Dyke.
How to style: Use electric clippers to trim all facial hair to the length of a quarter to half an inch. Next, with a razor, shave both the neck and cheeks, moving towards the mouth with each stroke. On each side of the face stop when you have a remaining band of hair about half an inch wide, extending from the tips of the mustache to the base of the chin. Then, use the razor to shape the bottom of the chin. For the mustache, shave directly under the nose creating a space of approximately a quarter of an inch.
What the look says: This look commands attention. And, based on the defined lines, Mr. West is all about control.
Mickey and Sean are both wearing variations of the Van Dyke.
How to style like Rourke: Shave the cheeks and neck, leaving the chin unshaven and the upper-lip hair to extend no more than half an inch past the sides of the mouth. Using mustache scissors or beard trimmer, trim the mustache hair, including the tips, to a length of approximately half an inch. Use a razor to shape the area beneath the nose, leaving only a quarter to half an inch strip of hair just above the upper lip. Next, find the center of the chin and shape a triangle that extends to both corners of the bottom of the chin.
How to style like Diddy: Shave the cheeks and neck, leaving the chin unshaven. Using a razor, cleanly shave directly below the nose, leaving a flat, thin line of hair approximately quarter of an inch in width just above the upper lip. Then, use mustache scissors or an electric trimmer to detail the moustache’s bottom line. Next, establish a center-top for the chin hair by marking with a razor or trimmer approximately three-quarters to one full inch below the bottom lip. Create a line that extends to the left and right jaw line using the establish mark as a guide. Lastly, round the corners a quarter of an inch on both sides just passed the corners of the mouth.
What Rourke’s look says: This is an out-of-the-box style that Mickey Rourke clearly feels confident that he can pull off. His look leads us to believe think that he is a risk taker and really isn’t too concerned about what people think.
What Diddy’s look says: The pencil shaped mustache and the neatly shaped chin hair show us a person that feels that he is clearly in control, because this look is all about the details.
Robert is wearing a style that he and his barber came up with for the role of Tony Stark in the movie Iron Man. However, you can see the Van Dyke style within the shape.
How to style: I have personally styled a few clients with this look, and this is truly one of the more challenging facial hair styles to achieve at home. I suggest you have a professional barber initially style you, and then you can work on maintaining it.
Tools needed: Clippers and straight razor
How to maintain: Every two to three days, use electric clippers to trim all facial hair to the length of quarter to half an inch. Afterwards, apply warm water or a warm towel to the area to moisten the beard and skin. Then apply a pre-shave oil or gel, no shaving cream. The oil is used to keep the area moist while protecting the skin from the blade. The oil also leaves the bearded area visible. The next step is to follow the established lines as best as possible, keeping in mind the 30-degree angle needed to avoid nicks or cuts. Afterwards, follow with a splash of cold water and a lightly scented after-shave balm.
What the look says: The fact that Mr. Downey wore this style for quite some time after filming wrapped shows that he loved the attention that surrounds the style. So with that in mind, I think it’s safe to say that he is quite comfortable in the spotlight!
Want to know what to ask your barber? Read here!